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UW-Extension presents forum on leadership in local government and encouraging women to run for elected office Submitted: 09/23/2019
Story By Rose McBride

UW-Extension presents forum on leadership in local government and encouraging women to run for elected office
RHINELANDER - At a forum about leadership in local government, participants named characteristics that came to mind when they thought of a leader. Some of the first characteristics mentioned were: white, male, and over 40 years old. 

Representatives from the UW-Extension Local Government Center came to Pine Lake Town Hall Monday afternoon to talk about women in government, both why there aren't as many women in government as men, and how that can change.


Jennifer Erickson presented research done by UW-Extension about how to encourage women to run for local elected office. 

Nicolet College's Learning in Retirement program and the League of Women Voters of the Northwoods teamed up to bring the presenters to Pine Lake Town Hall Monday. 

"The majority of people in local government tend to be older men and I don't think that necessarily fairly represents what the wishes and needs are of the entire county," said co-chair of the curriculum committee for Learning in Retirement. 

Steven Schreier is a county board supervisor in Oneida County. Of the 21 supervisors, none are women. 

It's a similar story in the state legislature. There are 33 state senators, eight are women. Of the 99 state representatives, 28 are women. 

Dawn Rog is currently the only women on Rhinelander's City Council, but when she was first elected that wasn't the case. 

"I do feel it is unusual comparing back to 1998 when there were three women on council," said Rog. 

Rog says one of the reasons women aren't running is they are busy. Other reasons the UW researchers found were that women were concerned about running against an incumbent or were concerned about criticism, which men were less likely to be fearful of. 

But presenters also said without more women running for office, the constituents aren't as equally represented.
 
"I feel that there is a lot that other women could give that are part of our community and I hope in the future they step up and choose to run," said Rog. 


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EAGLE RIVER - Amid concerns of COVID-19, the Eagle River Area Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Center, along with the Eagle River Business Association and VFW Post 8637, announced the decision to postpone the Fourth of July Parade, Fireworks, and Party in the Street until 2021.

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Linda and Henry Delisle were some of the many waiting in line for their box of food.

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NORTHERN WI - The State of Wisconsin will start to take applications for money to help small businesses get back on their feet.

The 75 million dollar "We're All in Small Business Grant" intends to touch 30 thousand small businesses--distributing 2,500 dollars to each one.

The Oneida County Department of Economic Development says the money will be focused on all areas of Wisconsin including the Northwoods

"The great news is this is not a first come first serve program, it's done really by area and by need," director, Jeff Verdoon,said. "The aid will be divided up by region so we have a good chance for our businesses up here to be able to receive the money."

During the safer at home order, local businesses could apply for small businesses loans, but some had trouble getting approved--others couldn't qualify.

The Rhinelander chamber of commerce which will work closely with businesses applying, says this program is much different from other grants, executive director Lauren Sackett added.

"Some of those other grants require you to already have financial loans," Sackett said. "[The We're All in Grant] will also look at who has already received funding to try and determine essential businesses who may have been missed."

Unlike different programs that may have more restrictions and requirements, local businesses find this application process fairly easy.

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PHILLIPS - The coronavirus took a toll on the Phillips community.

"It's been some very uncertain times here in the Phillips area, and as soon as these banners went up it was just a huge uplifting thing," said Stacie Prochnow of Phillips. "It's been great to be able to just show some respect for the veterans that are living in our area or have lived in our area and just to kind of boost our spirits in a very difficult time across the nation."

Stacie Prochnow partnered with the Chamber of Commerce to put up 18 banners of veterans past and present, all with a tie to the Phillips area.

They're also on the Chamber of Commerce website, where Prochnow wants to add pictures of the veterans' relatives under their banner. She's already taken her picture.

"We're standing underneath the banner that I had sponsored for my father-in-law," said Prochnow. "He was a World War II veteran in the United States Navy."

All 18 of the veterans sacrificed to put their country first, and to this day, they still inspire others in the face of hard times.

"It is just a wonderful opportunity for me to show my support for all the dedication that they have done over the years to support our country," said Prochnow.

The banners will be up until Veteran's Day.

You can learn about the honored veterans on the Phillips Area Chamber of Commerce website.

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